The Sullivan rewrite

In the adjacent post, I quote President Biden regurgitating the shibboleths governing the administration’s Middle East foreign policy. To get a full view of the underlying idiocy that events have exposed, see Joe Simonson’s Free Beacon story “In Foreign Affairs Essay, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan Said Biden Has ‘De-Escalated Crises in Gaza.’ Then He Erased the Evidence.” Subhead: “Foreign Affairs edited Sullivan’s piece after Hamas attacks.”

Here is the opening of Simonson’s story:

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan boasted in a Foreign Affairs essay that the White House “de-escalated crises in Gaza”—then made substantial revisions after Hamas’s terrorist rampage in early October sparked a war.

The print edition of National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s Foreign Affairs piece, titled “The Sources of American Power,” outlines how the Biden administration’s “foreign policy for a changed world” is leading to a “freer and more stable world.” Sullivan particularly praises Biden for helping to bring peace to the Middle East.

“The Israeli-Palestinian situation is tense, particularly in the West Bank,” Sullivan wrote, “but in the face of serious frictions, we have de-escalated crises in Gaza and restored direct diplomacy between the parties after years of its absence.”

That was one of several lines removed or altered in the online version of Sullivan’s piece in light of Hamas’s Oct. 7 invasion of Israel, which left 1,300 Israelis dead. The original version seems to have gone to print prior to the attack, and appeared in the print edition of the magazine released Wednesday.

Publications rarely allow an author to make substantial changes after a piece has been sent to print, revisions are generally reserved for factual errors. But the digital edits to Sullivan’s piece are immense, and undermine his original argument that Biden is forging peace in the Middle East.

As always, I especially appreciate this: “Foreign Affairs did not respond to a request for comment.” See the whole thing here.

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